Every team has a bad day or two over the course of a season. After all, Daniel Powter is still getting plenty of royalties from musical montages on ESPN, so even big name programs have their share of struggles. Most even find themselves blown out at least once, when matching up with a team that just has more talent. Well, Boulder (Colo.) Justice High School’s girls’ basketball team took that altruism to a new extreme in a loss to Greeley’s Frontier Academy, falling 94-1 on Tuesday night.
Yes, you read that right: 94-1. Justice High scored a single point, on a free throw in the third quarter. They trailed 48-0 at halftime.
“I’ve had 100 points scored on me before, and I think it’s important to respect the game and to respect your opponent,” Frontier Academy coach Nathan Buxman said. “We show the most respect for our opponents by continuing to play hard.”
Respect is one thing, but 94-1? That seems like a hard sell when trying to prove a team is actually “respecting” its opponent. At a certain point, aren’t you better off holding the ball and playing keep away?
As is often the case with historic high school blowouts, this was a mismatch in demographics as much as it was a mismatch in coaching and execution. Justice High School was created as a pilot program to educate at-risk youth, while Frontier Academy is a flagship charter school, meaning that the programs were fielding players from opposite ends of natural motivation both on and off the court.
Still, a 94-1 score goes both ways, doesn’t it? As much as one team has to actively try to score 94 points, its opponent almost has to willfully not play defense to give up handfuls of those buckets. Yet the most halfheartedly condescending part of the story comes from this Buxman quote, where he allegedly told his players to try and encourage their opponents:
“I wanted to respect effort on their part,” Buxman said of the Justice team. “I told the girls ‘if you see good effort, good hustle, tell them that.’”
Wait, so you were trying to respect them by playing hard, but you thought they needed to be encouraged to play hard themselves? If that isn’t condescending, we don’t know what is.